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15 Business Buzzwords You Need To Know Before You Start Working

Sakhita Sharma

After you graduate, you’re on a high. You’ve officially become an adult and will soon be joining the the rest of the country to climb the corporate ladder — congratulations! You’re looking forward to your entry into the world of professional work and assume that your university credentials are proof enough that you’re ready to take on the next chapter of your life. Right? Wrong.

What you don’t realise is that when you join the ranks of the “grown-ups”, all of a sudden your preconceived notions about the use of the English language are about to be thrown out of the window. In this new realm goobledigoop, or otherwise called business jargon, suddenly passes for respectable, logical, and legitimate forms of communication.

You’re about to be regress to become your five-year-old self again, so in order to prepare to be re-schooled, here are 15 words and phrases you’ll need to know before you start working.

1. Away Day [n.]

A day in which employees meet at a venue away from work to drink their weight’s worth of tequila in company expenses, all in the name of team building.

“Remember, everyone, Monday is Away Day, so I’ll see you all at 10am for the champagne and spa day.”

2. OOO [n.]

The repetition of a single letter three times to denote that you will be Out Of Office.
business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working“Sheila, from tomorrow I’ll be away in the Bahamas. I’ve got my OOO on, but pass the message to any clients who call, will you?”

3. Circle Back [v.]

Professional procrastination that allows for avoiding a situation by putting it off for another time.

business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working“That’s an excellent point, Sharon, let’s circle back to the topic of increasing wages after Monday’s meeting.”

4. Hop On The Phone [v.]

The act of picking up the call to speak with your colleagues, manager or clients. In layman’s terms, having a phone call.

business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working“Let’s hop on the phone and see if we can break down the financials.”

5. To Touch Base [v.]

To make an appointment, catch up or get in touch with someone.

Note: Involuntary touching of anyone’s base is not permitted in any professional environment, so keep those wandering hands above desks at all times and everything will be just fine.

business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working“Hop on the phone to Gary to touch base about the Away Day on Monday”.

6. To Ping [v.]

To check on someone’s current status via email, phone, or social media.

business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working“Ping me later with your holiday request.”

7. Gamechanger [n.]

An overzealous appreciation of a new strategy that’s been implemented or product that’s been created.

business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working“That new paper that we bought for the printer is a real gamechanger.”

8. Lock In [v.]

To confirm plans. Handcuffs are not usually required.

business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working“Let’s lock that project in on Friday, tops.”

9. Bandwidth [n.]

The physical and mental limit of your working ability.

business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working“I don’t have the bandwidth for another project right now.”

10. Engagement [n.]

A fluff word to measure the popularity and interaction of an entity with its consumers.

business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working“Damn, have you checked that engagement rate on Kim K’s belfie?”

11. Playbook [n.]

A scheme or set of strategies for conducting a campaign.

business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working”Let’s borrow a page from the competition’s playbook.”

12. Nail it [v.]

To do something exactly right or execute something perfectly.

business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working”Good luck on your pitch today. You’ll nail it!”

13. Value Add [n.]

A meaningless business term that means there’s an add-on or new feature to something that already exists.

business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working“We have to evaluate the value add of our sandwiches before launching our new BLTs to the market.”

14. Take Offline [v.]

A term used to scold people who start talking about something that has nothing to do with a meeting’s central topic.

business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working“Bob, let’s take this discussion about cupcakes offline since it has nothing to do with the meeting we’re in right now.”

15. Idea Showers [n.]

Forget brainstorms. Idea showers will really bring out your creativity.

business-buzzwords-you-need-know-before-start-working“I’ve told you time and time again, Jeff, brainstorms are too negative. We have idea showers now.”


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